The summer weather is finally here! Whilst sunshine and warm temperatures may lift our spirits, it can unfortunately be an entirely different story for our pets. Pets cannot sweat in the same way that people can and therefore cannot keep cool as easily, meaning they can succumb to heatstroke very quickly.
We’re all about keeping pets comfortable, healthy and happy, so that’s why we wanted to share some of our ultimate tips for keeping your pet safe in the heat!
Hot weather tips for dogs:
- This first tip is hopefully a no-brainer, but one that’s too important to skip. Never leave a dog in a hot car. Not with the windows open. Not for ‘just a moment.’ Never!
- Make sure your pet has access to cool, clean water at all times. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
- Make cooling tasty treats by filling an ice cube tray or a Kong with your dog’s favourite food and pop it in the freezer.
- Don’t walk or exercise your dog in the heat of the day. Walk your dog either first thing in the morning or early evening.
- Did you know dogs can get sunburn too? Particularly on their ears, noses and sparsely haired areas. Sunlight can also make existing skin conditions worse, particularly if your dog has allergies. The best thing to do is to keep your dog indoors when the sun is strongest in the summer, between 11.00am and 3.00pm. You can also apply some pet sunscreen.
- Dog’s paw pads can burn on hot pavements. As a general rule, if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws!
- If it’s too hot for the usual long walk, keep your dog mentally stimulated by doing some brain games instead.
- Swimming is excellent exercise for dogs and a great exercise alternative to walking in the summer heat. But remember that not all dogs like to swim, so if yours doesn’t then don’t force them and never throw a dog into water!
- Make sure your dog is safe when swimming – dogs can and do drown in rivers/lakes/the sea every year. Watch out for the tides, strong currents and other factors such as blue-green algae. If your dog has inhaled water, swallowed too much water or swims in algae-contaminated water, contact your vet.
- Wash salt and sand off your dog’s coat after swimming to prevent it drying and irritating their skin. Always bring fresh water to the beach to prevent your dog from drinking salt water, which can lead to salt poisoning.
- Grooming your dog is more important in the summer months. A tangle-free coat will protect your pet’s delicate skin and help to keep them cool. Some breeds may benefit from having their coats trimmed to keep them comfortable – ask a professional groomer for advice.
- Watch your pet closely for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and a loss of energy. If you recognise these signs, find a cool spot for them and give them some water.
- The symptoms of heatstroke include collapse, excessive panting and dribbling. If you suspect your animal is suffering, remove them to a cool place, gently wet their coat and contact a vet immediately. Avoid overcooling, especially in small pets.
We hope these tips were helpful in ensuring you and your pet get through the hot summer weather safely and comfortably. Now go and enjoy all the great things this season has to offer!
Are you looking for more info on how Anicura can help your pet through the summer? Check out our Ultimate Guide to a Stress-Free Summer with your Pet.